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Home News German box ports' hinterland rail freight on uptrend

German box ports’ hinterland rail freight on uptrend

The German Federal Logistics and Mobility Office (BALM) conducted an extensive analysis on the evolution of container transportation via water and rail over an extended period.

As per the analysis, rail-based container transport in Germany witnessed a significant surge of approximately 86% from just under 4.2 million TEUs to around 7.7 million TEUs between 2005 and 2022.

This notable increase was primarily driven by favourable developments in the hinterland of the Port of Hamburg, according to the analysis, while the growth is largely credited to the escalating proportion of rail freight within the overall modal split.

Similarly, Bremerhaven observed an increase in the modal share of rail freight, albeit with relatively lower absolute growth in container transportation by rail.

Container volumes on German inland waterways experienced a gradual increase from around 2.1 million TEUs in 2005 to just under 2.6 million TEUs in 2017, followed by a gradual decline to nearly 2 million TEUs in 2022.

This decline began in 2018 due to extended periods of low water levels on German rivers, particularly impacting navigation on the Rhine, especially in southern Germany. This, combined with a significant increase in the cost of inland waterway transport, prompted a shift towards alternative transportation modes.

Despite efforts to mitigate these challenges, the volume loss in the hinterland of key seaports like Rotterdam and Antwerp, crucial for inland container transport due to their strategic location, could not always be fully compensated by inland waterway transport.

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